Everything You Need To Know About Test And Tag
Certain types of electrical equipment must be regularly inspected, tested and tagged.
What is a test and tag?
Testing and tagging involves a competently trained person inspecting, electrically testing, labelling, and logging electrical appliances. The aim of the test and tag is to determine whether an appliance is electrically safe for personal use.
The test and tag also has other names:
- test tagging
- electrical tagging
- appliance testing
- portable appliance testing
- lead tagging
- Portable Appliance Test (PAT) testing
However, it’s mostly known as a test and tag.
The test usually goes in this fashion:
- The visual inspection.
The visual inspection checks whether the metal pins are not loose, and that there are is physical damage to the cable or case of the cord.
The appliance is then plugged into an appliance tester.
The appliance tester checks a few things, with each appliance tester offering different features. Here are the most common things tested:
- Power-on test
- Earth Bond test
- Insulation test
- Touch Current test
- Substitute Leakage Current test
- Load/Leakage Test: Load Current
- Load/Leakage Test: Load Power
- Separated or safety extra-low voltage (SELV) test
- Protected extra-low voltage (PELV) test
- Functional extra-low voltage (FELV) test
After the above tests are complete, the appliance will either pass or fail. If it passes, it is safe to use, if it fails, you repair or replace the appliance (depending on what test it failed).
In Australia, this is what you should look for on your tag:
- Adherence to the AS/NZS 3760:2010 standard
- The date in which it was tested
- The date it is due for retesting
- Whether the test has passed or failed
The tags can also come in many colours, with each colour showing how frequently the electrical appliance should be tested and retagged:
Why do I need a test and tag?
Because being electrocuted isn’t fun! Testing and tagging to the Australian Standards helps to ensure safety in the workplace. Portable electrical appliances that are frequently handled by people are subject to heavy use and the environment. Because of this, they can become electrically unsafe. Thatâ€™s why you get a test and tag – it can dramatically reduce the risks of electrocution and fire.
What stuff should I get tested and tagged?
Power tools, extension leads, vacuum cleaners, and pretty much any electrical appliance that is physically used.
Do I need things in my house to be tested and tagged?
Yes. Every year in Australia there are many deaths in the workplace and home, caused by electrocution, destructive fires, and many other serious electrical injuries (e.g. burns).
The majority of these deaths could have been avoided if regular testing and tagging were taken place.
So that’s all you need to know about testing and tagging (unless you’re an electrician). Electricity is dangerous, so don’t cut corners – test and tag your electrical appliances!